Reviewer:Robert B. Livingston
August 23, 2007 Subject:
America: again a land of extremes
The thoughtful economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman does not really describe a class war in this speech. (One wonders, could one be coming?)
Instead he describes a coup d'etat by a small elite of wealthy individuals in America who were able to establish a new Guilded Age after a brief interregnum of relative equality and prosperity.
He describes the period of middle class ascendency (roughly 1935-1973) as having begun in a short period of time due to changing attitudes, strong-willed political leadership, and unions. He does not really describe why that period came to a halt-- save to suggest that the moral climate was also changing with people become nastier and some more likely to be rewarded for their greed.
Krugman makes a plea for a revitalization of institutions to check greed in the United States-- and tells his audience, "We need a new FDR. If you see him, let me know."